President Muhammadu Buhari has attributed the growing social unrest globally to inequalities and unfair policies that exclude majority from opportunities for participation. Buhari, who said this at an investment conference organised by the Future Investment Initiative Institute on Tuesday in Saudi Arabia, called on world leaders and global investors to prioritise inclusive and humane policies.
According to the President upon assuming office in 2015, his government understood the importance of inclusive policies for sustainable peace, adding that his administration will encourage public and private initiatives that increase investments in health, education, capacity building, youth empowerment, gender equality, poverty eradication, climate change, and food security
Buhari said by so doing, it will go a long way in re-energizing the global economy in a post -COVID-19 era.
Speaking on the theme of the Future Investment Initiative Institute summit tagged; “lnvesting in Humanity’’, Buhari said the Nigerian perspective remains a focus on people oriented development policies, with diversification from oil to more inclusive sectors such as agriculture, ICT and mining; tackling corruption, insecurity and climate change and introducing Social Investment Programmes.
He noted that human approach to investment is the only way to address the global challenges we face, pointing out that investing in humanity is investing in our collective survival.
“We provided loans and technical support to small holder farmers, through the Anchor Borrowers Program. As a result, Nigeria today has over 40 rice mills from less than 10 in 2014. Nigeria also has over 46 active fertiliser blending plants from less than 5 in 2014.
“Furthermore, in agriculture, we have reformed the process of obtaining inputs such as fertilizer and seeds. We have several million hectares of available arable land and have embarked on the creation of Special Agriculture Processing Zones across the country. These initiatives we believe will make it easier for investors in agriculture.
“Two months ago, I signed the Petroleum Industry Act. The Act will serve as a catalyst to liberalize our petroleum sector. It has introduced a number of incentives such as tax holidays, 100 percent ownership, zero interest loans and easy transfer of funds. In addition, we have highly skilled in-country workforce and a large domestic market.
“In mining, we have also made several opportunities available for investors. Nigeria is a country rich in minerals from gold, iron ore, tin, zinc, cobalt, lithium, limestone, phosphate, bitumen and many others. We have made the licensing process easier and also made extensive investments in rail and transportation.
“Infrastructure investments represent significant potential for investors in Nigeria. We have opportunities in seaports, rail, toll roads, real estate, renewable energy and many others. We have created several institutions that are available to co-invest with you in Nigeria.
“Digital Economy in Nigeria has many potentials for investment, as it has remained the fastest growing sector in both 2020 and 2021.
Also, at the Future Investment Initiative Institute, President Buhari added that “Nigeria has many opportunities for investment in broadband, ICT hardware, emerging technology and software engineering. We have recently approved the national policy on Fifth Generation (5G) network,” Buhari said.
The Nigerian leader stressed:”Our aim is to attract investors in healthcare, smart cities, smart agriculture among others. The benefit of real time communication will support all other sectors of the economy.
“I launched the E-Naira, the electronic version of our national currency, which puts us on track to become the first African country to introduce a Central Bank Digital Currency.
“We believe this and many other reforms, will help us increase the number of people participating in the banking sector, make for a more efficient financial sector and help us tackle illicit flow of funds.”